Lemon chicken pasta

A creamy lemon sauce over breaded chicken baked into a casserole with whole wheat noodles makes for a delicious weekday meal.

The Pastry Chef's Baking
Lemony chicken baked with whole wheat pasta and covered with Parmesan cheese.

My lemon tree is exploding with lemons. In hindsight, I should've probably thinned out some of the blossoms earlier but it was just so thrilling to see real, actual lemons growing on a tree I've had for almost three years and had hitherto only produced two or three lemons than I just let them be. You can't have too many lemons, right? Uh, we'll see. 

Some of the branches are so loaded now that they're almost touching the ground.  And I can't pick most of them yet since they're still green.  I have been giving one particular lemon the hairy eyeball though as it's been pretty yellow for the past few weeks. It still seemed rather hard though so I left it alone – not hard to do since I only go out to the backyard when I guiltily remember I haven't watered the lemon tree or the orange tree.  A green thumb, I possess not.

But I did finally snip the first large yellow lemon off my tree this past weekend and put it to good use with this lemon chicken recipe I found on Pinterest. I used chicken breast tenderloins instead of chicken thighs since that's what I bought from Costco and also subbed out green onions in the original recipe for regular onions since that's what I had on hand. I also had some Parmesan Reggiano cheese so I grated a bit of that and threw that in as well. 

I'm reminded why real cooks enjoy cooking. There's something satisfying about using up a bunch of random ingredients from the fridge and making something edible out of it.
 This recipe made enough sauce that I actually paired it with some whole wheat noodles and baked it off as a casserole to make lemon chicken pasta. I liked how easy it was to make although if you want more lemon flavor, I'd increase the amount of lemon juice to at least 1/3 to 1/2 cup.  This wasn't super lemony so it might also be good to place sliced lemons on top of the chicken before baking.

Lemon Chicken Pasta

From The Mother Huddle

8 boneless chicken thighs, skin removed or breast tenderloins

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

4 tablespoon butter

1 cup chicken broth (or use 1 bullion cube dissolved in 1 cup of water)

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese, optional

1/3 cup green onions (green tops), chopped plus more for garnish if desired

Whole wheat noodles, boiled to al dente and drained

1. Cook noodles according to package instructions.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

3. In a large Ziploc bag, combine, flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder and chicken a few pieces at a time. Shake to coat chicken with flour mixture.

4. In a large, deep frying pan, sauté chicken in butter until both sides are evenly browned.

5. Add chicken broth, lemon, cream, and onions or mushrooms, if desired

6. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or so, until meat is tender.

7. Place noodles in baking dish and pour lemon chicken over.  Sprinkle with grated cheese and bake at 350 degrees F. for 15-20 minutes. Garnish with more green onions.

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